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Media investor Gordon Crawford buys into Legendary Pictures

April 19, 2011 |  8:05 am

GordonCrawford Influential media investor Gordon Crawford has made a personal investment in Legendary Pictures at a time when the film finance and production company is seeking to expand its business.

Crawford, who has been a shareholder in entertainment companies such as Lions Gate Entertainment, Time Warner, Yahoo and Viacom over the years through his firm Capital Research Global Investors, quietly bought a minority stake last month, according to people familiar with the investment.

The purchase was part of a larger stock sale by several previous investors that Legendary arranged in March. Also joining Crawford in buying Legendary equity at the time was Silicon Valley venture capital firm Accel Partners.

Crawford's investment was private and not done through Capital Research. It's one of a number of private media and technology investments that he has made over the years, along with such companies as Twitter, Demand Media and video game publisher Zenimax Media.

Legendary has been one of Hollywood's most successful film finance companies, co-funding a string of hits with Warner Bros. that includes "The Dark Knight," "300" and "The Hangover" that have outweighed flops like "Jonah Hex" and the recent "Sucker Punch."

The company, headed by chairman Thomas Tull, is arranging a credit line of about $700 million that is expected to be led by JPMorgan and to extend through 2016. Its current credit facility expires in 2013, the same year the company's co-financing and distribution agreement with Warner Bros. ends.

Legendary has also been stepping up development of its own movies, such as the planned Guillermo Del Toro-directed science-fiction action movie "Pacific Rim," and has taken steps to expand into television and comic books.

— Ben Fritz

Photo: Gordon Crawford. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times.